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PBS Home Video presents
Caillou: Caillou, The Everyday Hero (2006)

"Caillou was glad Rosie felt better, in fact, he felt better too. He wasn't afraid of a silly old storm."
- Narrator (Merlee Shapiro)

Review By: Jeff Wilson   
Published: March 29, 2006

Stars: Annie Bovaird, Merlee Shapiro, Jennifer Seguin, Pat Fry, Jesse Vinet
Director: Nick Rijgersberg

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing objectionable
Run Time: 01h:30m:53s
Release Date: March 28, 2006
UPC: 841887051903
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ B-C-B- C

DVD Review

Being the parent of a nearly four-year-old, I've seen just about everything PBS has to offer as far as younger kids programming. Among the least grotesque is Caillou, a French-Canadian produced animated series about a four-year-old boy who has various everyday adventures. For whatever reason, Caillou is drawn as a bald, round-headed kid, reminiscent of Charlie Brown, but with less hair. He has a sister named Rosie, and a cat named Gilbert, in addition to his unnamed parents. There are various other characters, but the nuclear family figures in most of the stories.

This disc, titled Caillou, The Everyday Hero, which gathers twelve stories about Caillou. Unlike the TV series as I have seen it, this disc includes only the animated segments with Caillou, omitting (thankfully) the live action puppet sequences in which Gilbert and two of Caillou's toys, a teddy bear and a dinosaur, hang out and have their own goofy adventures. The series also has live action songs with various kids which are also omitted here. It's pure, unadulterated Caillou action on this disc. The material here is taken from the new season of the show, which is pushing this "everyday hero" angle. One of the things I found fairly realistic about the series was the characterization of Caillou as a normal four year old, tantrums and all. The negative elements of his personality appear to have been bleached out of this new season, with everything sunshine and light. I had assumed one of the things kids liked about the character was that he was identifiably like them.

The stories now generally revolve around Caillou having adventures which occasionally lead into Caillou having a imaginative daydream about said activity, with the odd musical number sung by Caillou thrown in. The animation design is much the same, but the animation itself looks a bit more cheap than previous seasons.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: It will look fine for the kids watching, but the image exhibits some fairly heavy ghosting during motion sequences.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Unlike previous discs, which included the original French track, this disc includes only the English soundtrack. It sounds fine for what is required.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. I Spy game
  2. Caillou's Coloring Pages, DVD-ROM coloring feature
  3. Biographies of characters
  4. Message to Parents text screens
Extras Review: A little bit of action for the kids here, as they get a game I Spy, where they must select the item named, and Caillou's Coloring Pages, a DVD-ROM only extra. A selection of Biographies carry over from previous Caillou discs, and a text-based Message to Parents describes the program and its intentions. A web link to the PBS Kids site is also provided.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

If your child likes Caillou, this disc of material from the new season is much the same, with some minimal changes that most kids probably won't notice or care about.

 


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